Women’s Lacrosse Dominates Openers
Women’s lacrosse continued its hot start to the 2017 season Saturday with a 22–2 win over the Kalamazoo College Hornets. Led by junior Natalie Rauchle, who scored five goals, 10 different Yeowomen tallied goals.
The Yeowomen were also victorious yesterday, defeating the Otterbein University Cardinals 19–4 to improve their overall record to 3–0. Rauchle continued her dominant start to the season by tallying three goals to move her team-leading total to 12, while junior Sydney Garvis, senior Maggie Mullard and sophomore Hayley Drapkin added three goals each. Oberlin’s offense dominated once again, outshooting the Cardinals 32–4 and 23–4 on goal.
For her efforts, Rauchle was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week after also scoring four goals in Oberlin’s 17–2 season opening win at Heidelberg last Wednesday. She credits the team’s early success to the team dynamic.
“There is so much leadership within the team that we’ve been able to form a new, strong chemistry,” Rauchle said. “These games have been really important in giving us a grasp on how we truly play as a team. We’ve also been using these games to perfect our plays as much as possible before we start conference play.”
On the back end of the field, the defensive unit came out of the gates strong to prevent the Kalamazoo Hornets from taking a single shot in the first half. Offensively, Oberlin immediately found its stride as Garvis netted a quick goal less than three minutes into the game. With 25:29 left in the first half, Rauchle scored on an assist from first-year Eliza Amber to give the Yeowomen a 2–0 advantage. From that point on, the Yeowomen went on a 13–0 scoring run to enter halftime up 15–0.
In the second half, the Yeowomen picked up right where they left off with sophomore Sabrina Deleonibus rifling a shot into the back of the net to score her second goal of the game. Oberlin’s attack was relentless, outshooting Kalamazoo 41–4 and 34–2 on-goal. Garvis added three goals, while Deleonibus, Drapkin, sophomore Sydney Allen, senior Sara Phister and first-year Josephine An all logged two goals each.
With a talented veteran squad and underclassmen rising to the occasion, the Yeowomen have found a tight cohesion on the field so far. In Saturday’s matchup, 16 of 22 goals came from combinations between two or more players. Senior co-captain Sloane Garelick said she believes the team has been thriving as a result of everyone’s support and dedication.
“On and off the field, everyone on our team supports each other and enjoys spending time together,” Garelick said. “This translates into a great environment while we’re playing in which everyone respects one another and values each other’s opinions and advice on the field.”
With the Yeowomen able to take such significant leads early in matches, Head Coach Lynda McCandlish has had the flexibility to rotate in combinations of players consisting of under and upperclassmen, allowing rookies to test out their skills in the collegiate arena for the first time. The first-years have flourished in this role, with three of four netting at least two goals each.
McClandish said she has been pleased with the team’s upperclassmen, who have led the way for the Yeowomen statistically this season, reflected in Oberlin outshooting their opponents 72–14 and 57–6 on-goal.
“Our leadership with our captains and our entire senior class is awesome,” she said. “I think our team dynamic is a reflection of their personalities and leadership and it will be interesting to see what happens this year.”
The Yeowomen will look to continue their success against non-conference opponents next Wednesday when they travel to take on the John Carroll University Blue Streaks at 6 p.m. Last year, Oberlin fell to the Blue Streaks 21–18 in a high-scoring matchup. Still weeks out from their first North Coast Athletic Conference contest, the Yeowomen and McCandlish are approaching the season step by step.
“We still have a few weeks before conference play starts and are facing some hard opponents, so we aren’t thinking about conference games yet,” she said. “We’re just taking it game-by-game and day-by-day.”